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Behind the Masks of ModernismGlobal and Transnational Perspectives$
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Andrew Reynolds and Bonnie Roos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061641

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061641.001.0001

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From Pre-Columbian Masks to the Basque Cromlech

From Pre-Columbian Masks to the Basque Cromlech

The Art of Unconcealment through Jorge Oteiza

(p.93) 4 From Pre-Columbian Masks to the Basque Cromlech
Behind the Masks of Modernism

Elixabete Ansa Goicoechea

University Press of Florida

This chapter locates a Basque modernism based in transatlantic cultural exchange. Jorge de Oteiza, through his long stay in Spanish America in the 30s and 40s, produced an aesthetic manifesto based on the megalithic statuary of Colombia anchored in human subjectivity founded on what he calls “unconcealment”-the statue serving as a space of preservation, masking the undesirable effects of modernity upon humankind. De Oteiza moved forward with the idea of unconcealment when he studied Basque funerary cromlechs and produced a second essay interpreting the “Basque Soul” through prehistoric rock formations. As this modernist expression moves from Spanish America to Spain, Goicoechea sees a trope of inverted conquest as the Basque Avant-Garde mitigates the isolationist capitalism of the Franco dictatorship through observing the formal founding of indigenous cultures of Spanish America and the Basque Country. This modernist expression, even in the heart of Europe, depicts a modernism diverging from traditional representations of Western cultural production of the period.

Keywords:   Spain, Colombia, Basque Country, Jorge de Oteiza, Franco dictatorship, Basque Modernism

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